FIRE IN THE DEEP: Frightening stories from Deepwater
SCORES of firetrucks, with lights flashing and sirens blaring, racing down Deepwater Rd was a sign the cavalry had arrived to fight one of the worst bushfires in Queensland's history.
Wartburg Fire Brigade station officer Judy Ferrari was among those to share harrowing memories of the catastrophic Deepwater bushfire in the Queensland Fire and Emergency short video series, Fire in the Deep.
The clips celebrate 70 years of the Rural Fire Service and Judy features in the final video, which aims to highlight the efforts of volunteers.
The Deepwater fire started on November 22 and lasted for almost a fortnight.
Dozens of firefighters from interstate were flown to the region to help crews on the ground.
"I remember looking down Deepwater Rd and all I could see were scores of fire trucks … coming down like the cavalry," she said.
"I've never seen so much resources and manpower put into anything. It was amazing."
Turkey Beach Rural Fire Brigade first officer Errol Noye, who also featured in the video, said he wanted people to realise how frightening it could be on the frontline.
"Everyone there did a mighty job. It was one of those situations that you don't want to come across," Mr Noye said.
After spending three days trying to contain a Lowmead fire, Mr Noye was called to assist with the Deepwater fire.
Of the three weeks he and others from the Turkey Beach Brigade spent fighting fires in November, they had two days off.
"It certainly was exhausting," Mr Noye told The Observer yesterday.
Mr Noye said what made Deepwater distressing was the distance at which the embers were causing spotfires.
"Where you think you had control of the fire, another would be starting right in front of you," he said.
"Where we had fire breaks it would jump the breaks ... that was a big concern."
Mr Noye also hoped the video would show people the importance of following instructions from emergency services.
"If we come knocking at your door it's for your safety," he said. "It's a scary thing. At Deepwater there were people who wouldn't leave."
Mr Noye said it was imperative residents followed the local fire ban, which has been extended to October 4.
"I'm concerned there's still a lot of fuel down there at Lowmead … it's possible we could have something similar to last year, the way conditions are," he said.